Spring has finally arrived here in Poznan. There are buds on the trees, birds are active and the sun is shining. I am so so excited to see all the different shades of green, I feel like it has been very grey for a while.
A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks and I’ve been very busy. Hence the gap in the blog post. I’ll start with the most exciting part. My Dad came to visit me! I had four delightful days with him and we didn’t stop laughing. It was so nice to just relax and explore more of Poznan. We enjoyed coffee’s and beers in Stary Rynek, we walked lots, enjoyed the sunshine and I had to watch those blummin’ goats above the clock tower again. We aimed to try lots of different Polish foods and I think we were successful. We had the famous Poznan pastry, pierogi, duck, pancakes, pie and Dad tried some Vodka. When in Poland, why not! We went to a museum in Cytadela Park on his first day here. It explains the part the old fort played in the Second World War and you can read about the different weapons and look at all the different war vehicles. It was really interesting, although I think Dad enjoyed looking at the army stuff more than me! When walking around the park we saw two red squirrels which was so nice! Such a rare sighting in England so we stood for a while and watched them. I also got to see my first white morph long tailed tits which was exciting. After the long day of walking we went and sat in the Old Square and enjoyed a beer. Lovely!
The second evening we went to a very fancy restaurant in the Old Square. The food was amazing, but I was extremely glad my Dad was there!! Looking through the starters menu, I felt spoilt for choice. I said “hmm.. maybe I’ll have the sweet breads, they sound good”. At this point I didn’t realise that sweet breads were in fact the throat of a sheep. Dad saved me. I then thought, “hmm, maybe the escargot”. Again, my uncultured self did not realise that escargot is snails. Dad to the rescue again. I eventually chose a spinach dish which was lovely and played safe with risotto for mains. I was very full after the meal, it was so tasty and so fancy.
The next day involved more lovely food and beers and treats from Dad! In the evening we went for a meal at Zielona Weranda. It was Kasia’s birthday so she came and met us for a glass of wine. I am so glad that my Dad got to meet her! We had a lovely time.
Dad’s last day was so funny and ridiculous. In the morning we decided we would go to IKEA so Dad could get me some bigger bits for my room to make it more Amie-fied. We had a great plan, get the stuff, order a taxi and get home…. easy… It didn’t exactly go to plan. We managed to get most of the items from the main shop, but two items were at the other warehouse. This meant we had to wheel all of the other items across a retail park to get to the other department. We managed this, after getting many strange looks from passing cars. We then tried to ring a taxi. My limited Polish skills did not help me with this and I had to recruit the help of the IKEA man to help us and to explain our situation with having big baggage. We needed a big car or van. We waited for about 20 minutes and a tiny taxi arrived. The man saw our big boxes and was very grumpy. He was shouting about how he was a person taxi not a baggage taxi. There must have been a mix up. Meanwhile, a small lorry had parked up. It turns out that that was our taxi. Thank goodness. We loaded the stuff into the lorry and hopped in! It was so so random and so funny. I bet they were all thinking “stupid English people”. After a busy morning we went and enjoyed a nice picnic. I decided to try a savoury one, I think it was the first savoury pancake of my life. I loved it! We took one last trip to Old Town for a coffee and mooched back to the flat. Made all the flat pack stuff and had one last meal. Dad’s taxi arrived in the evening and I had a cry. It’s so lovely having people to visit but when they leave it’s tough. I miss everyone back home so much. Living abroad is hard sometimes! But I guess the life of an adventurer means some heart ache! I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Okay, so more sunshine wanderings…
This weekend I have had a lovely time with Donata, my Lithuanian friend. All of Saturday was spent walking. We first enjoyed a very healthy, vegan lunch at my local cafe. After our refuel we walked and walked and walked. We first visited Sołacski Park which is the closest park to my flat. It is my favourite place in Poznan so far, I discovered it earlier this week. It reminds me of Etherow Park back at home. It is just so lovely. We walked around the pond and then at the end there is an option to carry on to another park. We wanted to explore so we carried on and ended up at another huge lake. And it has a beach! We didn’t stop there because it was very busy, but we now know a spot for future BBQ’s. More walking and we eventually got to the Botanical Gardens. We sat and enjoyed the spring sun. Plus, our feet needed a rest. I think we walked about 10km in total! For tea we enjoyed a salad and a brew on the balcony. The evening was spent relaxing and chatting. This morning we woke up and headed into town to try and find some summer clothes. We weren’t successful but it was still nice to wander. Old Square has now transformed. All the restaurants and cafes have decking areas on the cobbles and it was like we had teleported to Spain or some sunny island destination. There was also an Easter market so we had a look at the stalls. A lady was selling baklava (turkish pastry treat) which is my favourite! She let us sample some and so we got a coconut flavour, pistachio flavour and a chocolate one. They were amazing. What a lovely weekend with a lovely friend!
Other things that have happened…
I went to search for pygmy owls with Paweł, Paulina and Mathieu. We went to a beautiful forest further North of Poznan. We didn’t find the pygmy owls but we saw a beautiful Tawny owl. It was also really nice to be in a forest, and it was quite exciting walking through in the pitch black. The stars looked amazing.
Earlier this week I enjoyed an evening in the Physics department with Donata and her office friends. She had brought some traditional Lithuanian food and drink back from home so we all had a sample. The cheese and bread is just amazing!! There was also a lovely honey liquor which was sweet and probably a bit too easy to drink… It was really nice to meet some new people too.
Polish lessons continue, getting more difficult with the grammar. I do really enjoy it though. I try and practice as much as I can.
I’m busy but I have made some lovely memories in the past couple of weeks.